Washington’s Stolen Governor’s Race
It took three counts of nearly 3 million ballots, four lawsuits, seven weeks and discovery of a series of embarrassing mistakes in King County, but Democrat Christine Gregoire yesterday won the race for governor by 130 votes over Republican Dino Rossi. The hand recount Ã¢€” the final count allowed by law Ã¢€” ended yesterday when King County tallied 566 disputed ballots. As Republicans feared, the final votes went heavily for Gregoire and added to the 10-vote lead she had held when the day began. Like so much in this race where the unprecedented becomes precedent Ã¢€” already it’s the closest governor’s race in state history, Washington’s first statewide hand recount and the first time any recount reversed a statewide election Ã¢€” the fight will continue right through any victory parties Gregoire has planned. More lawsuits are possible, as is a full-scale legal attack by Republicans that could lead to a new election.
Gregoire said at a news conference in the Capitol last night she would not declare victory until the election is certified next week. “A lot of heated words have been said during this recount,” Gregoire said. “But with the election coming to a close, I am confident that we can begin to move forward as one state.” Gregoire did not call on Rossi to concede, but said she would have conceded if she were the one who had lost the manual recount. When she was 261 votes behind Rossi after the first count, Gregoire called the race a virtual tie. At 42 votes back after the first recount, she said it was, in fact, a tie. Now, she said, “It’s time for this race and this election to be over.”
As they paid for the hand recount and filed a lawsuit with the state Supreme Court, Democrats have been highly critical of the counting process, saying local officials chose “expediency over accuracy and equality” and calling Rossi the “accidental governor-elect” and a “thief” trying to steal the election.
It’s amazing that, when they lost after the first and second count, the Democrats were anything but magnanimous. Now that the election has been stolen for them by corrupt election officials and partisan judges, they want the Republicans to be gracious about it. Simply amazing. It looks as though they’ll get away with it. The only recourse Rossi has is the state legislature, which is heavily Democrat. I can’t imagine the U.S. Supreme Court stepping in here.